High Lead Levels Hurt Learning for Detroit Kids

"More than half of the students tested in Detroit Public Schools have a history of lead poisoning, which affects brain function for life, according to data compiled by city health and education officials.

The data also show, for the first time in Detroit, a link between higher lead levels and poor academic performance. About 60% of DPS students who performed below their grade level on 2008 standardized tests had elevated lead levels.

The higher the lead levels, the lower the MEAP scores, though other factors also may play a role.

The research -- the result of an unusual collaboration between the city's Department of Health & Wellness Promotion and DPS -- also reveals that children receiving special education were more likely to have lead poisoning."

Tina Lam and Kristi Tanner-White report for the Detroit Free Press May 16, 2010.

Source: Detroit Free Press, 05/17/2010